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More fishing licence money to be used for angling projects through Angling Improvement Fund

25.05.18

Kidderminster&DAA_club member Matt and newly installed accessible peg x550px
An Angling Improvement Fund award helped provide accessible pegs at a fishery run by Kidderminster & District Angling Association

At least £300,000 of fishing licence income is being made available to angling clubs and fisheries based in England through the latest round of funding from the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF).

The money will be used to help fund general fishery improvements, river access, measures to control predation and improving access-for-all on still waters and canals.

The Angling Trust, which administers the fund in partnership with the Environment Agency, is seeking applications by July 31st, 2018. Unlike previous years, there will only be this one chance to apply in 2018-19.

Applications for funding are invited under the following themes:

Fish protection and predation management

Up to 20 projects will be funded for work such as installation of otter-proof fencing and measures to combat over-predation of fish stocks by fish-eating birds. Awards of more than £5,000 will be considered where the applicant is able to commit a comparable amount of match-funding. The maximum grant considered will be £20,000.

General maintenance and fishery improvements

A broad mix of proposals are invited from organisations seeking to make repairs and upgrades to angling infrastructure at still water fisheries and canals. Applications for improvements to stages, paths and approach roads, bridges, parking areas, new toilet facilities and for tree and vegetation clearance will all be eligible. Other ideas to consider might be signage, general health and safety improvements and training courses to upskill club officials and members on the use of machinery when undertaking work party duties. The AIF is planning to make around 40 grants of up to £5,000 to eligible projects.

River access

We are looking to fund up to 15 projects aimed at improving access paths to rivers, repairs or enhancements to handrails, steps, ladders, car parking areas and hardstanding. Repairs and enhancements to gates and fencing will also be considered. Maximum grant being offered is £5,000. Improvement works at rivers are likely to require an Environmental Permit (EP) for flood risk activities or else will require registration as an exempted activity. Hence, we expect applicants to have engaged with their local Environment Agency office to discuss their project and its impacts.

Access for all

A general theme providing funding for infrastructure projects that will improve access to angling opportunities and increase participation. Preference will be given to inclusive, sustainable projects that can clearly demonstrate how the project will increase participation in junior anglers or in anglers with a limiting disability (or have limited mobility) with applications welcome from education providers, angling clubs, charities, fisheries and local authorities. Examples include outdoor classrooms or shelters, toilets, expansion of existing or the provision of new car parking, new pathways, new swims or platforms. Maximum award of £5,000 to between 10 and 15 projects will be sought.

Further information on how to apply, including key deadlines, eligibility and judging criteria for each theme will be available on the Angling Improvement Fund section of this website from Thursday, May 31st. All applications must be completed using the Angling Trust’s online application grant management tool and must be submitted by midday on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018.

It is hoped that offers of funding to successful applicants will be made by mid-September and approved projects must be completed by March 31st, 2019.

Since the Angling Improvement Fund was launched in February 2015, fishing licence income has helped fund more than 370 angling projects worth an estimated £3.8 million, creating or safeguarding tens of thousands of angling opportunities in England.

Dr Kevin Austin, Deputy Director for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment at the Environment Agency, said: “The Angling Improvement Fund is an important aspect of our partnership work with the Angling Trust. It is a fantastic opportunity for angling clubs and owners to secure money for projects to develop their fisheries and encourage more people to go fishing. The fact we have been able to release at least a further £300,000 of fishing licence income is excellent news for anglers across the country.”

Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal, said: “The Angling Improvement Fund has been a great success and benefitted hundreds of angling projects throughout England in a relatively short time. I'm pleased that this year's funding from rod licence money will once again be used to protect fisheries from predation, provide opportunities for people to take up fishing and improve access to rivers and still waters."

  • The Angling Improvement Fund (AIF) is administered by the Angling Trust in partnership with the Environment Agency and reinvests part of the proceeds from fishing licence sales into urgently-needed freshwater angling projects, benefiting anglers the length and breadth of England.

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